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September 22, 2004
For immediate release
Contact: Joe Pally
(202) 208-2565
jpally@osmre.gov
George Rieger
(412) 937-2153
U.S. Office of Surface Mining Awards Garrett County, Maryland Community Action Committee a Watershed Cooperative Agreement Worth $100,000

(WASHINGTON) - Interior Secretary Gale Norton today announced that the Interior Department's Office of Surface Mining has awarded a Watershed Cooperative Agreement to Garrett County, Maryland Community Action Committee, Inc. in the amount of $100,000 for the Crellin Tipple Acid Mine Drainage (AMD) Project.

"The grant we've just awarded will go a long way in helping Garrett County restore one of its most significant waterways," said Norton.

When completed, the Crellin Tipple AMD Project will treat a significant amount of acid mine drainage discharging into Snowy Creek, a major tributary of the Youghiogheny River. The Crellin/Snowy Creek AMD seep is caused by an old coal mine tipple. The Crellin Tipple AMD Project, which will incorporate passive, bio-remediation technology, will greatly improve the water quality at this site. Incorporating this new technology will return the water quality to near-neutral pH, with a low metal content discharge into Snowy Creek. The Crellin Tipple AMD project is located near the border of Maryland/West Virginia, in the center of the small Garrett County community of Crellin, adjacent to Crellin Elementary School, where faculty and 108 students will participate in this project.

When the project is completed, the site will serve as an outdoor classroom to educate students on such environmental issues as acid-mine-drainage. Not only will the project improve water quality in Snowy Creek, it will also improve the wetlands adjacent to the abandoned coal tipple, and will help the Crellin Community Group and the Crellin Elementary School improve the center of their community.

Garrett County, Maryland Community Action Committee, Inc. is partnering with Youghiogheny River Watershed Association, Maryland Department of the Environment Bureau of Mines, Crellin Elementary School and Board of Education, NiSource, Columbia Gas Company, Crellin Community Improvement Group, Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Garrett College, Garrett County Commissioners, and local community members who are making in-kind contributions to this project. Maryland will provide $54,000. The other partners will provide $8,580 in funding and $14,372 in-kind contributions. With OSM's $100,000, total funding for this project will be $176,952.

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Office of Surface Mining
1951 Constitution Ave. N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20240
202-208-2719
getinfo@osmre.gov